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NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE TO HARRY REID: “Let the Senate vote on bill to protect unborn babies who feel pain”

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The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of state right-to-life organizations, is requesting that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) bring the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to the Senate floor for a vote. At a press conference this morning, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced his intention to introduce a landmark piece of legislation that would provide nationwide protection for unborn children who are capable of feeling pain, beginning at 20 weeks fetal age (equivalent to “22 weeks of pregnancy,” the beginning of the sixth month).

“It is time for the Senate to take action on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and we urge Senator Reid to heed the will of the people and allow the bill to come before the Senate for a vote,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “One-fifth of the states, nearly two-thirds of Americans, including two-thirds of American women, and the U.S. House of Representatives agree. Now it’s time for the U.S. Senate to do its job and act to protect these most vulnerable members of our human family.”

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is based on a National Right to Life model bill that has already been enacted in ten states. On June 18, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the federal bill, with a vote of 228 to 196.

In a nationwide poll of 1,003 registered voters conducted in March, The Polling Company found that 64% of respondents would support a law such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks, the point at which an unborn baby can feel pain, unless the life of the mother is in danger. Only 30% of respondents opposed such legislation. The poll revealed that women voters were divided on the issue, with 63% in favor of such a law and 31% opposed. Furthermore, 63% of independent voters expressed support for the legislation.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would permit abortion after 20 weeks post-fertilization in cases where the mother’s life is endangered or in instances of rape or incest reported prior to the abortion to the appropriate authorities. The bill contains findings of fact by Congress regarding the medical evidence that unborn children experience pain at least by 20 weeks post-fertilization age, or the start of the sixth month. Please note that 20 weeks post-fertilization age (also known as fetal age) is equivalent to 22 weeks of pregnancy in the widely employed LMP dating system.

Extensive evidence supporting the assertion that unborn children experience pain, at least by 20 weeks fetal age, is available on the National Right to Life website at www.nrlc.org/abortion/fetalpain and also here: www.doctorsonfetalpain.com/.

It is a fallacy to assume that late abortions are a rare occurrence. As observed by National Right to Life in a letter to senators last week, the trial of Kermit Gosnell and subsequent revelations about other abortionists have brought late abortions to the attention of many Americans for the first time. These abortions are frequently performed on babies who are capable of being born alive and on babies who will experience great pain while being killed.

The National Right to Life Committee estimates that at least 140 abortion providers offer abortions past the point that this legislation would permit. These late abortions are performed using a variety of techniques, including a method in which the unborn child’s arms and legs are twisted off by brute manual force, using a long stainless steel clamping tool. A medical illustration of this common method, designated as “D&E,” is available for viewing at the following link: www.nrlc.org/abortion/pba/DEabortiongraphic.

“Not since Congress voted to ban the brutal partial-birth abortion method has a more important piece of pro-life legislation come before Congress,” added Susan T. Muskett, J.D., National Right to Life senior legislative counsel. “Lives hang in the balance. Congress cannot sit idly by to condone these violent acts; it’s time to take a stand for the protection of these pain-capable unborn children.”


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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